Yekemi Otaru (founder of YO! Marketing, now merged with Doqaru Ltd) had an innovative idea to use machine learning to identify the marketing activities that generate the greatest impact on business growth. This would result in a world’s first machine-learning marketing algorithm. This was created with collaboration from cyber-security and machine-learning experts from Abertay University.



Conducting marketing activities can be a constant challenge for many businesses that are time-constrained, have limited resources, little marketing expertise and a budget that only goes so far. Yekemi’s idea was to design an intelligent solution, based on a data model, of using a machine learning algorithm to identify the marketing activities that generate the greatest impact on business growth.

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to automatically learn over time without being explicitly programmed. Machine Learning had not previously been used by Marketing companies in this way. 

Yekemi approached Interface to help her find the necessary academic expertise in Machine Learning, Dataset Modelling and Data Mining to solve this challenge.


After conducting a search across various universities, Interface matched the entrpreneur with Dr Xavier Bellekens, Assistant Professor and Lecturer at Abertay University within the Division of Cyber-Security, where he leads the Machine Learning Research Group. Dr Bellekens was a perfect match for this project as he has a strong interest and extensive expertise in this field.

Abertay University offers extensive expertise in big and small data analytics, machine-learning, critical infrastructure protection, and the Internet of Things (IoT), both on security and the development side.

This collaborative project was set up to develop the intelligence behind Yekemi’s prototype (GO YO), an integrated online platform for marketing purposes.

The project was split into two parts: the first activity was the development of a dataset used to train the algorithm to predict the best routes to create impacts for a business. The second was the evaluation of the algorithm, ultimately leading to a highly intelligent platform that learns with time, taking into consideration the product lifecycle, giving tailored advice and helping businesses to manage the performance of their products in the marketplace, informing action plans and marketing strategies.

Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves. It is based on learning by example, finding the right algorithm for the task and obtaining accurate results. This is a challenging task which can be achieved only through the assessment and research process.

This project was funded through a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, administered by Interface.

Business benefits

This project provided the former YO! Marketing with a world’s first machine learning marketing algorithm, setting the business apart from other marketing companies in the marketplace, making the decision-making process easier for business owners with limited marketing experience.​ 

Yekemi Otaru, Founder & Principal Strategist, YO! Marketing

As a business owner, I juggle many day-to-day operational tasks while nursing a stream of ideas for more strategic advancement.

This project gave my former business, YO! Marketing, a significant leap forward to be able to engage with Abertay University with this particular idea.

Abertay University have the machine learning expertise that my business did not have, so the collaboration was perfect! We worked well together and I am very excited about the successful project of the initial machine learning model.

Yekemi Otaru, Founder & Principal Strategist, YO! Marketing (now merged with Doqaru Ltd)

Academic benefits

Dr Xavier Bellekens

This project helped the University of Abertay to expand the research horizon of the machine learning research group into applied machine learning for marketing purposes.

Dr Xavier Bellekens, Lecturer in Computer Security & Privacy, Abertay University